Thursday: The Rich and the Poor
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Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

In this short letter, James shows great concern for poor people; some even consider it his major theme. But to modern ears, his diatribes against the rich and in favor of the poor seem extreme, even shocking. At the same time, however, James isn’t saying anything much different from what Jesus has said.

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Compare James 1:9-11 with Luke 8:14; compare James 1:27 with Matthew 25:37-40; compare James 2:15-16 with Luke 10:29-37; and compare James [...]

02: The Perfecting of Our Faith – Hit the Mark
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Image © Steve Creitz from GoodSalt.com

Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age; and Sarah had passed the age of childbearing. Therefore Sarah laughed within herself. Genesis 18:11-12

Sarah had just overheard Abraham being told again that his wife would bear him a son. It was humanly impossible for Abraham and Sarah to have a child. Although firm believers in God, this promise was more than they could take in.

Image © Steve Creitz from GoodSalt.com

Their reaction to the promise of God was quite [...]

02: The Perfecting of our Faith – Thought Starters
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Image © Phil McKay from GoodSalt.com

Introduction…After surgery and 74 days in rehab for a broken hip joint, I’m back and headed for full recovery! Don’t read this if you’ve never done anything stupid, but I put on an ankle weight and forgot it was on until I decided to leap from my bedroom to the kitchen. For a split second I was airborne. Then I made contact with my hip joint and the ceramic tile flooring and lay sprawled on the floor for a very long time [...]

Wednesday: The Flip Side of Faith
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Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

Read James 1:6-8. What is he saying to us here?

Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

The word for doubt refers to one being inwardly divided; this helps us to understand its connection to double-mindedness. We see a clear example of this at Kadesh-Barnea. Israel faced a choice there: move forward in faith or rebel against the Lord. Amazingly, they chose rebellion and wanted to return to the bondage of Egypt. When God intervened and announced through Moses that they would [...]

02: The Perfecting of Our Faith – Lesson Plan
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gless02-2014d

Key Thought: James shows us how trials and difficulties help us to strengthen our faith and purify our lives…

[Lesson Plan for The Perfecting of Our Faith October 6, 2014]

1. Have a volunteer read James 1:2,3 and Ephesians 4:13.

a. Ask class members to share a thought on what the most important point in this text is.
b. How does the testing of our faith bring patience or endurance?
c. Personal Application: Has you faith been tested lately? How did you respond to [...]

Tuesday: Asking in Faith
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Read James 1:5-6. How is wisdom different from knowledge? What connection does James make between wisdom and faith?

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It may seem a bit odd that James says, If any of you lacks wisdom. Who thinks he or she has enough wisdom to begin with? Solomon, for instance, recognizing his need, humbly asked for an understanding heart to . . . discern between good and bad (1 Kings 3:9). Later, he wrote: the fear of the [...]

Monday: Perfection
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Read James 1:2-4. Notice the progression: faith, testing, patience, perfection. James begins with faith because that is the foundation of all true Christian experience. He then says we need trials to test the genuineness of our faith. Last, James states that trials can teach us perseverance, so that eventually we will not be caught by surprise and be overcome by them. God’s goal for us is that we may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing (James 1:4, NKJV). The language [...]

Faithfulness by Thankfulness
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But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 2 Timothy 3:1-2 NKJV

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Being unthankful is more than just bad manners. It is one of the perils of the last days. Being unthankful goes right along with disobedience and being unholy.

So what goes along with being obedient and holy? Thankfulness does.

Luke 7:1-50 tells a [...]

Sunday: Faith Lasts
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Read James 1:2-3; 1 Peter 1:6-7; 1 Peter 4:12-13. What is the common attitude of both James and Peter in regard to trials? How are we supposed to relate to this incredible biblical injunction?

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No one likes suffering; we almost always avoid it if we can. The Greek word used in verse 3 for the testing of our faith is dokimion. It refers to the process of proving the genuineness of something. Peter likens [...]

Sabbath: The Perfecting of Our Faith
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Read for This Week’s Study: James 1:2-3; 1 Pet. 1:6-7; Phil. 3:12-15; James 1:19-21; Luke 17:5-6; Luke 12:16-21.

Memory Text: Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2, NIV 1984).

A dentist explained why his crowns are always flawless. Unlike some dentists, he said, I never have [...]

HopeSS: James, the Lord’s Brother
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Derek Morris 14d

You can view a discussion of the current lesson in the Hope Sabbath School class led by Pastor Derek Morris. (Adobe Flash Player version.) A Youtube version of this week’s lesson at Hope Sabbath School is below. You can download the video, the MP3 audio, and the lesson outline from the HopeTV Sabbath School Site. You might also want to bookmark the HopeSS Youtube channel.

Inside Story: God’s Guiding Voice
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Jacques Cesaire

As teens my friends and I enjoyed the pleasures of the world. We partied and drank, but I was not satisfied. I was searching for something meaningful, but didn’t know what it was or where to find it.

Often when we were away from the crowd, our conversation drifted toward religious topics. Frequently we talked about the existence of God. One boy, Felix, seemed to know a lot about God. I didn’t know it, but his family was Adventist. [...]